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For most, all that counted was being able to wear their regalia and share their achievements with family and friends.
Olivia Barber (21), who graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree, said she and fellow graduates had not let a threat to attack ceremonies get in the way of their celebrations.
The graduands were supposed to parade up George St and receive their certificates in the Dunedin Town Hall.
Most of those spoken to by the Otago Daily Times on Saturday, said they liked the "more picturesque" alternative better.
"It’s around the uni this year, which is actually quite cool," Miss Barber said.
"A lot of the students have said that it’s almost nicer than doing a walk through the street.
"It’s quite special being able to do it here."
The threats led to the cancellation of graduation ceremonies for the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, affecting thousands of graduates.
Her arrest came too late to fully reinstate Saturday’s graduation ceremonies.